Why isn't TiVo offering a streaming package/cloud DVR?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by TitanTiger, Jul 30, 2019.

  1. Aug 1, 2019 #81 of 119
    trip1eX

    trip1eX Well-Known Member

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    Tivo reported earnings btw. (speaking of the future of Tivo and what they should do.) They made money this quarter and stock is up ~8% today.

    A lot of the earnings beat comes from IP licensing particularly with Shaw communications.

    They are still working on plans to split the company into 2. They got a new CEO - Dave Shull - since the last earnings call. He worked at the WEather Channel and helped split that company into 2 and also worked at DISH. The split is expected to be finalized by 1st half 2020. They are still open to a sale of one (maybe either) of the businesses to another company.

    I read the earnings call transcript. Pretty hard to digest at the moment for myself.

    But a few takeaways. They brought 3 patents to litigation with Comcast. They were found valid. But Comcast either deleted features that infringed on these patents or worked around them and Comcast thus was found not to infringe. IN other words, Tivo got no money is the way I read it. The way the patent litigation works though is they can only bring a few patents at a time meanwhile they have hundreds that Comcast is thought to be infringing on and so they can and will continue to litigate a few patents at a time. With the end goal essentially being to pressure Comcast into settling thru death by a thousand cuts. In other words Comcast will theoretically be more open to settling the more features they have to disable on the X1.

    The other note in the transcript is stating 2 or 3 times they are getting out of selling hardware. Does this mean they will stop selling Tivos at retail? Or is this just part of the whole move to contract out hardware development? They mentioned AndroidTV a few times and their product for it and how that is attractive to customers. And customers meant MSOs. They talked nothing about retail customers. They did mention "operating expenses include an inventory impairment charge of $2.4 million as we continue our transition away from selling hardware products."

    Last I don't really understand (entirely at least) the separation of the IP and Product business. Specifically how can someone buy one of their products if another company owns the IP behind it? I don't quite get that part. I did read that one reason for separating the two is customers (MSOs) of the product business like that they don't have to deal with an IP entity. But again that is something I don't quite understand.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
  2. Aug 1, 2019 #82 of 119
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    I predict that YouTube TV -- in order to better compete against the forthcoming AT&T TV and other options -- will add a few missing popular channels in early 2020 and raise the price once again to $55. They'll strike a deal with A+E Networks to include A&E, History and Lifetime and they'll strike a deal with Crown Media to include Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. And I think they go back to Discovery and tell them they'll add the new Magnolia channel from Chip & Joanna Gaines (currently DIY Network). Actually, come to think of it, that was probably part of the deal Google negotiated with Discovery earlier this year when they added their other most popular channels.

    At the same time, if not before, we'll see YTTV (like FuboTV already does) roll out support for limited live and on-demand content in 4K HDR for no extra charge. I also suspect that YTTV will offer an optional add-on tier of sports channels that they're missing, maybe for an extra $10/mo.

    YTTV will be adding local PBS stations nationwide this year. I expect they'll get C-SPAN at some point too. After they make all those other upgrades I mention above, there won't be much to separate them from a traditional cable TV provider, other than a lack of Viacom channels and the inability to FF through ads on recordings from CBS. Once Verizon (and perhaps other broadband providers) rolls out a (probably free) custom Android TV streaming box and remote designed just for YTTV, you can see how at $55/mo it would be set to absolutely destroy traditional cable and satellite TV services. (Remember, YTTV allows 3 simultaneous streams and allows up to 6 individual profiles with their own individual cloud DVR, settings, favorites, etc.)
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
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  3. Aug 1, 2019 #83 of 119
    ajwees41

    ajwees41 Well-Known Member

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    But might be the one Tivo/rovi is interested in
     
  4. Aug 2, 2019 #84 of 119
    mschnebly

    mschnebly Well-Known Member

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    When I first got YTTV I didn't like it and the way the DVR part worked was shocking to me and really different than any other. Now I love it. Whoever came up with that library idea had a great idea. The Home screen shows Top Picks For You and you can scroll thorough genres to find movies, shows or thrillers, news, Trending on Youtube - you name it. You can even browse networks for series or movies, etc. They definitely got their app right. I use an Apple TV 4k for the streamer but sometimes use the Roku Ultra too.
     
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  5. Aug 2, 2019 #85 of 119
    wco81

    wco81 Member

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    Well that effectively means one cable company in most markets.

    My Roamio has been sidelined since the start of the year because I switched from Comcast to UVerse for better monthly pricing.

    The Cisco boxes Uverse gave me are crappy, as is their app.

    Maybe I'll resubscribe with Comcast if I get favorable pricing again.

    I've not tried any cloud DVRs but they sound horrible, like auto expiration in 90 days or something like that, inability to skip commercials with one tap, no trick plays, etc.

    I'll try to use Tivo again but it's also possible the future is just subscribing to streaming services and dropping linear TV.
     
  6. Aug 2, 2019 #86 of 119
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, the Ericsson Mediaroom software platform that Uverse and its boxes runs on is officially ancient at this point. I read awhile back that they had completely stopped manufacturing those Uverse boxes. But hey, as a consumer, if it's delivering your channels and recording them OK, and doing it at a decent price...

    The cloud DVRs typically have some kind of trade-off relative to a traditional DVR. The upside they have is no tuner conflicts, so record as many channels at the same time as you like. The upcoming AT&T TV, which will replace Uverse, allows 500 hours of recording but does auto-expire recordings after 90 days. (No word yet if that can be waived for an upgrade fee. I kinda doubt it.) YouTube TV's 9-month time limit (and unlimited storage hours) is way more generous. I'm pretty sure it allows basic trick play on live TV too, although if you're looking for stuff like slo-mo, nah.

    Perhaps the best cloud DVR is Hulu with Live TV's, if you pay the extra $10 for the enhanced cloud DVR (200 hrs storage, no expiration, FF thru ads) plus the extra $6 to remove on-demand ads. The result should actually be better than a traditional DVR in most ways since so much stuff on Hulu is on-demand and the ads just disappear, don't even have to be skipped through. But at that point, the overall cost is $61/mo. for 2 concurrent streams. But no additional bogus fees like regular cable.

    Being able to skip ads with a single button press is not normal even for traditional DVRs, though. TiVo and DISH Hopper can do it on certain shows. I'm not aware of others.

    If you can get by with just the sports that air on your local OTA channels (assuming that OTA is an option for you), then dumping linear channel cable TV for a few on-demand streaming services is the way to go. Use an Apple TV 4K and its TV app to pull them together for you in a nice UI.
     
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  7. Aug 5, 2019 #87 of 119
    Bob Louder

    Bob Louder New Member

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    Ask on the Supper Club. :)
     
  8. Aug 7, 2019 #88 of 119
    Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

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    Feasible meaning too expensive. :)
     
  9. Aug 7, 2019 #89 of 119
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    That’s what I thought too
     
  10. Aug 10, 2019 #90 of 119
    hahathatsfunny

    hahathatsfunny New Member

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    I suspect YouTube TV was a loss leader for Google, at least for awhile. It was offering $39.99/month subscriptions but providing an extensive sports heavy lineup, which likely didn't result in much profit margin at all. Google has since adjusted with a $10 monthly increase to $49.99/month, but you can tell with such a steep price increase they knew they were pricing their product too low.

    I tried Philo, which didn't have the sports channels, the WarnerMedia channels or any of the broadcast networks. And no integration for over the air local channels. It was kind of a nice the way the cable channels would arrange, and when I'd record a show, it'd save it like a Series. But the content was just too limited and very Viacom heavy. I used to like recording the classic tv shows on Logo and few other networks. Even if I recorded it and fast forwarded the commercials, it still was work on my part to do that and sucked dealing with fast forwarding the commercials all the time.

    I'm currently on Sling with an AirTV for a couple of months and it has more selection as far as viewing options. Sling had a couple of base packages and a lot of alacarte mini packages, but by the time you added more than a couple, Sling was more pricier than YouTube TV. Sling has recently added a $20/month package on top of their base which includes a lot of those extra alacarte packages.

    Sling as a service is good but not great.

    To start off, the AirTV (which I use with Sling) is unreliable and once every two months has to be reset. The AirTV customer service is excellent though (each time I need to reset). I call and get an American based representative immediately during the business hours, and easily spend 15 minutes each time I call to reset the AirTV. The reset is a multi step process that requires a smart phone. I suspect it's a loss leader for Dish, and there is no real synergy between Dish Network and Sling, except for maybe when Dish negotiates with content providers. But, they are run separately and customers get no benefit having both.

    Instead of Sling/AirTV - I would prefer to use TiVo. TiVo has always been rock solid with my past experience. And it's easier for older people - my parents are old and prefer typing in a channel number to get to a specific channel. (Something these app based services don't have or Roku and these devices decided to do without).

    While I get over the air channels integrated with Sling, Sling's guide decides to separate ABC NBC CBS FOX from the other broadcast channels, with their cable channels in the middle. (Kind of annoying in my opinion). As far as the cable nets, Sling has most of the popular channels but few are missing. Sling is kind of a paired down version of a full cable lineup and maybe it's intentional that way. Fox News not carried, FXX is on demand only, Nickelodeon and Animal Planet are missing to name a few, but Sling carries Fox owned stations, regular FX and other Viacom channels.

    But, one nice thing is I can add Starz and Showtime and get 6-7 channels for each premium services, Epix and TCM to name a few. I really wish that I could skip the Sling Blue/Orange altogether, and just go straight for premiums and a few alacarte add ons.

    It doesn't have to be TiVo, but it would be awesome if it was TiVo, where I could use a Bolt DVR for local channels, and maybe get subscription streaming channels integrated, the same way with Sling/AirTV, but more sophisticated. Actual remote with channel numbers, local hard-drive based DVR as well as cloud DVR. After paying $500 bucks for the device and all-in plan, I'd be willing to pay a premium over Sling for streaming channels and cloud DVR

    I think if it was TiVo deciding to go with that as a plan of offering, it should make deals to carry the Showtime channels, Starz channels and any other movie channel service. (HBO might not be possible as AT&T has been difficult). But providing the HBO Now app is fine enough, where customers can sign directly to HBO. As far as cable networks: the WarnerMedia channels would be a good set of channels, Hallmark, Hearst, Discovery, maybe Sony, and a few smaller networks like HDNet. I think it could make an essentials package with that.

    The Viacom channels are quite junky/trashy, except for Comedy Central, so not sure it's worth it. Other providers have had disputes with Viacom as of recently. Disney is apparently known to be greedy and will likely squeeze TiVo from making a profit unless TiVo priced it's packages quite high enough. Comcast/Universal will likely also be difficult to work with to get a fair deal out of as well, but maybe not.

    I guess it would depend largely on sports. If TiVo wants to accommodate sports viewers, it would likely need deals with Disney, Warner and NBC and likely carry NBA TV among others. I'd rather it didn't covet them as enough providers like YouTube TV, fubo and psVue already focus on ensuring the sports viewer is accommodated but the pricing of the package tends to be high enough that it's not really any better than cable.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
  11. Aug 12, 2019 #91 of 119
    wei_c25

    wei_c25 New Member

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    I've been impressed with Youtube TV (YTTV) is great. I have a lifetime Bolt and mini, but also had been on the DirecTv Now (DTVN) grandfathered plan just for kicks. While with Directv Now I kept my Bolt/mini as backup. Now two weeks in to YTTV and I went ahead and returned my cable card, I don't need the Tivo as backup anymore.

    I ditched DTVN it because the DVR is horrible and wasn't getting better. YTTV's DVR is amazing. I also programmed my TV remote to also work the Apple TV and it works amazingly well. When I power on my TV, the Apple TV wakes up with another press of a button; when I power down the TV, the Apple TV sleeps automatically. So just one remote, and real buttons.

    My concern with YTTV and other similar offerings is these companies don't make money, so I expect price increases (hopefully they start to offer tiers and I can stay at $50). I plan to keep my Bolt/mini handy just it case I need to dust them off again in the future. I'm also not saving much, if anything at all, if you compare cable+Tivo to internet+YTTV. But it's a better product/experience, for me.

    I see Tivo becoming more and more of a niche offering, and more significant change in the industry is probably coming that could make Tivo obsolete (it's kind of already happening).
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
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  12. Aug 12, 2019 #92 of 119
    BNBTivo

    BNBTivo Active Member

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    Ditto. Wasn't sure at first. Didn't really like YTTV interface compared to Tivo. After a few months, I would never go back. The library and the way it organizes and presents content is light years ahead. I always say it's not fancy, purposely. It's all about simply getting the content you want in front of you. I've even found the home screen has learned enough about me to provide me with most of what I'd want, organized.
     
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  13. Aug 12, 2019 #93 of 119
    BNBTivo

    BNBTivo Active Member

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    I ended up getting a Roku TV and then purchased the Ultra remote separately. It's a great remote and feels great in your hand compared to the garbage standard roku remote. And we use the private listening often. Another big selling point for me was the roku speakers which only work with roku TV. They are phenomenal. And like you were going for, it's a seamless product now with on/off, volume, etc.

    My understanding is that Google gives you the content at cost and expects to make something like $16/mo on ads. So it's a profitable model. It'll get there. And yeah, I'd love some a la carte package offerings. Ideally could add Viacom.
     
  14. Aug 12, 2019 #94 of 119
    BNBTivo

    BNBTivo Active Member

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    I could be wrong, but doesn't the recast provide a single guide for both OTA and streaming channels?
     
  15. Aug 13, 2019 #95 of 119
    hahathatsfunny

    hahathatsfunny New Member

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    That's pretty cool that YTTV has made a deal with PBS, but I wonder if the subchannels like Create TV will be available. Fios and Comcast are the only source for getting all in my house. An antenna doesn't get a couple of PBS stations unless I try a better outdoor one.

    Before increasing the price to $54.99, I think YTTV will wait until Hulu Live TV goes up to $49.99 or $54.99. I think Hulu Live TV (primarily owned by Disney) will see price increases but it'd make sense to include NBA TV and some of the cable A&E networks that Disney has 50% share with Hearst. If Disney wants to increase by $10, it could justify with those and Hallmark, and likely add from AMC (AMC, IFC, Sundance and BBC America). There are 3-4 networks from Sony (SONY Movie Channel, GSN and getTV) and AXS (HDNet) also available, which could possibly be spun in a higher tier.

    I think both will avoid adding Viacom group of channels. Too many channels, most content is junk and Viacom overvalues it's channels meaning they are likely too expensive for their worth.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
  16. Aug 13, 2019 #96 of 119
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Damn, and there's no YTTV app for my Fire TV devices, presumably because of the Google/Amazon feud. Amazon better fix that --- or PSVue better up their game. (Or I better get a Roku.)
     
  17. Aug 13, 2019 #97 of 119
    wei_c25

    wei_c25 New Member

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    YTTV can be installed directly on:
    • Android TV (newer sony, sharp, philips)
    • All Vizio SmartCast TVs
    • Samsung & LG smart TVs (2016 models and newer)
    • HiSense TVs (models: MTK5658, MTK5659, MSD6586)

    I have a Sony and it works pretty well, but I prefer the Apple TV because its a little smoother navigating.
     
  18. Aug 13, 2019 #98 of 119
    BNBTivo

    BNBTivo Active Member

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    It's already addressed and YouTube is coming back to Fire. YouTube is already back, with YTTV supposed to be very soon. Personally I much prefer roku over fire anyways, but yeah, YTTV will be back on fire this year.
     
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  19. Aug 13, 2019 #99 of 119
    BNBTivo

    BNBTivo Active Member

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    We have YTTV and Philo. We think it's worth it for the $70/mo and enjoy quite a bit of content on Philo. It basically fills in the missing channels. I'd gladly pay YTTV extra for that programming, and it would probably be more like $15 extra, but I don't think they are interested in doing packages nor busting the $50 barrier.
     
  20. hahathatsfunny

    hahathatsfunny New Member

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    Viacom and CBS announce merger after three years, will be renamed ViacomCBS

    CBS and Viacom are in process to merge back together. I think YTTV, Hulu Live, psVue and any other providers that have avoided Viacom but have CBS will eventually be pressured to carry those Viacom channels, which will result in higher price points for these base packages. CBS has sports (AFC football), and those streaming providers will want to continue to offer CBS to keep sports fans.

    Sling (owned by Dish) is peculiar that it has Viacom channels but not CBS owned affiliates. I could see it going the other way with Sling. Possible cut of Viacom channels. Dish has tried to make Sling the more affordable option, and Charlie Ergen (CEO) of Dish might want to differentiate Dish Network (satellite) for more fuller selection of channels. It was known from my time with Dish Network, that it would not bend to sports channels or expensive channels. For a long time, Dish Network refused to carry YES Network. Ergen was always a tougher negotiater. I'm actually surprised though that Dish/Sling still carry Fuse, which was dropped by Comcast and Fios because of high costs, but I could see it eliminated from Sling in the future.
     

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